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Polysaccharide production: Experimental comparison of the performance of four mixing devices

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This investigation was undertaken with the objective to compare experimentally the performance of four different mixing devices for the production of the polysaccharide pullulan with Aureobasidium pullulans (2552). Fermentations were performed using identical bioreactors with respectively an assembly of three Rushton turbines (RTB), a helical ribbon impeller (HR) and two different reciprocating plates (RPB1, RPB2). Each mixing vessel had identical geometry and working volume (18 L). These four fermentations were performed with an equal level of power input per unit volume (1000 W/m3) and gas flow rate (0.5 vvm, 9 L/min). For each system, the evolution of biomass, polysaccharide concentration, dissolved oxygen and agitation speed or frequency were recorded as a function of time along with the rheological properties of the culture broths.

The type of mixing device used had a significant impact on the rate of biomass production and on polysaccharide physical properties. However, the rate of polysaccharide production appears to be less sensitive to the bioreactor design. The overall productivity, which represents the ability of micro-organisms to convert rapidly substrate into biomass and polysaccharide, was maximised using the RPB2 system. The quality of the synthesised polysaccharide, in terms of viscosity producing power, was highest using the HR system but the overall productivity was very low. Thus, the best compromise between productivity and product quality was achieved with the RPB2.

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Received: 6 August 1997

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Audet, J., Gagnon, H., Lounes, M. et al. Polysaccharide production: Experimental comparison of the performance of four mixing devices. Bioprocess Engineering 19, 45–52 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004490050481

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  • Biomass
  • Fermentation
  • Polysaccharide
  • Dissolve Oxygen
  • Rheological Property